Dr. Robert Ingram Honored for
Outstanding Contributions to Education

April 6, 1999
For Immediate Release
Contact: Suzanne Matthews
Fax: 305-995-2722

MIAMI - Educational progress inevitably requires a champion--someone daring and devoted enough to expand learning opportunities by challenging the status quo. An outstanding example of such leadership recently was recognized by Cuban Educators in Exile when they chose Dr. Robert Bernard Ingram to receive their outstanding educational achievement award.

Dr. Ingram, a member of the Miami-Dade County School Board, was selected for his pioneering work in the teaching field, lifelong championship of intergroup relations, and extensive record of public service.

Dr. Rolando Espinosa, president of Cuban Educators in Exile, presented the award at the organization's annual luncheon on March 26 at the Renaissance Banquet Hall in Little Havana. In his presentation, Dr. Espinosa noted that "Dr. Ingram comes to the table of academic excellence with the patient understanding of a pastor, the political knowledge of a government leader, the theoretical wisdom of a professor, and the assurance of an administrator who breaks down barriers and builds relationships.

"Dr. Ingram has been an incontestable force in fostering positive educational skills and standards, while at the same time advocating the value of diversity."

Dr. Ingram has been nationally recognized for a number of significant contributions and achievements during his multifaceted career. Born and raised in the then-segregated Miami, he became the first African-American police officer assigned to the all-white section of downtown Miami. While with the City of Miami Police Department, he was the first African-American to be assigned to its prestigious motorcycle unit and to its Internal Security Unit.

After receiving a number of honors as an exemplary police officer, he became the first African-American to retire from the Miami Police Department to become the police chief of an urban city police force, that of the City of Opa-locka. He later became the first African-American city manager of the City of South Miami.

Dr. Ingram was elected to an unprecedented six consecutive terms as mayor of Opa-locka. In 1998, he was elected a member of the School Board of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the nation's fourth-largest school district.

In addition to his School Board position, Dr. Ingram serves as full professor and chairperson of the Division of Extension and Continuing Education at the historical Florida Memorial College, birthplace of "Lift Every Voice and Sing." He also is president emeritus of the National Conference of Black Mayors, Inc., and was appointed by the late Gov. Lawton Chiles to the Martin Luther King, Jr., Institute of Nonviolence, where he presently serves as chair.

Dr. Ingram has been the subject of numerous articles in leading magazines such as Jet, Cosmopolitan, and Reader's Digest. He was included in the May 1995 Ebony magazine list of "One Hundred-Plus Most Influential Black Americans and Organizational Leaders in America." He also was featured in Ebony's October 1982 edition.

Dr. Ingram is married to the former Delores Newsome. They have two daughters, six granddaughters and one grandson, who regularly are reminded of his personal motto: "Keep on struggling,"

To contact Dr. Ingram, please call 305-995-1340 or e-mail